When I was back in Singapore for my winter break (July 2012), I tried out a new entrant into the already-crowded restaurant scene – The Clan Restaurant, which aims to present the best of European cooking infused with a Japanese influence. The Clan’s located on Bukit Pasoh Road, opposite Andre Chiang’s Andre.
If you’ve been to Dozo at Valley Point or Tao’s Restaurant at POMO in Selegie, you’ll be familiar with the concept of the restaurant. This is of course, not surprising since Executive Chef Ken Teo ran the kitchens of both restaurants for the last 5 years.
Prices at The Clan are extremely affordable – A 5-course lunch costs S$42.80++ and a 6-course dinner costs S$62.80++. There are at least 5 selections for each course (with the exception of the starter – so that’s quite a few options to choose from if you’re going in a group.
Granted, affordability is relative but considering how main courses at some casual restaurants average around S$25++, these prices surely aren’t too expensive? Portion sizes aren’t small either! Perhaps, value-for-money would be more of an apt description.
Occupying two stories of an old shophouse, the restaurant can seat about 110 diners. There is the option of dining on the first storey (with the open concept kitchen) or on the second storey.
Upon being seated, a Green apple shooter is presented to you. Slightly tangy and moderately sweet, this cold drink was perfect for a hot summer day. This was nothing much of a shout-out but made for a good way to start the meal.
Complimentary Bread Sticks and Bread
Salmon Mousse Cone & Pan seared scallop w truffle asparagus, truffle foam & Foie gras terrine w cranberry sauce & pistachio cranberry crumbs
The first course comprised of a trio of small bites.
Let’s start from the back, shall we? The salmon mousse in the cone was rather tasty except for the fact that the cones had stuck to the paper wrapping. Perhaps they were prepared well before hand and kept in the fridge? The pan seared scallop was seared perfectly, although the there are hardly any taste of truffle in the asparagus or foam. Amongst the three bites, the foie gras terrine stood out with its smooth and creamy texture and paired well with the cranberry sauce.
Earl grey cured tuna w lavender scent fruit salsa & orange basil emulsion
Fresh tuna was infused with a faint taste of Earl Grey which complemented the fruit salsa and orange basil emulsion. In short, it was a clean tasting starter.
Beef carpaccio w truffle mustard tossed mesclun salad in truffle teriyaki & horseradish sauce
I am on the fence when it comes to the beef carpaccio – I’m of the opinion that if you are going to serve beef raw, let it speak for itself and not have it drowned in such a strong tasting sauce that it loses itself.
Tempura espuma soft shell crab w homemade sauce
Kurobuta pork belly confit w pork cracker & passion fruit sauce
The kurobuta pork belly came highly recommended from the waiter and what came presented to us definitely lived up to the strong recommendation. It was so…. tender and of course, decadently flavourful. The mild sweetness and sourness of the passion fruit sauce combines well with savoury notes of the pork.
Herb crusted mushroom escargot
A word of caution, if you’re not a fan of all things herb, avoid this like the plague. For those who do, this is quite the god-send. The dish is packed with so much flavour of the herbs that it’s either you like it, or you don’t.
Miso soup w yuzu essence
If you’re a fan of yuzu, this is definitely up your alley for the taste of yuzu was more pronounced in this soup than miso. The postive being the soup is less salty as one would be used to at your run-of-the-mill Japanese restaurant.
Crab bisque cappuccino w truffle foam & prawn twister (pictured below)
Crab bisque is the poor cousin of the traditional lobster bisque – prawn bisque being somewhere in the mix too. I digress.
Served lukewarm in a glass cup, I thought this was decent – smooth and rich without being too rich. It would have been nice if the prawn twister (a glorified deep-fried spring roll) remained crispy.
Cepes mushroom w truffle paste
The mushroom soup, according to the manager, is one of their best sellers.
I could hardly taste much of a truffle flavour but it did not matter; the mushroom soup managed to stand its own ground and tasty homely with tiny bits of mushroom remaining within.
48 degree poached salmon w japanese broth, dehydrated wakame & leek confit
The salmon was another dish that I was left standing on the fence of. It was cooked perfectly, but my only gripe about it is, like the beef carpaccio, the broth overpowered the salmon.
Spiced braised lamb shank with potato panko & extra virgin olive powder
The lamb shank was the clearly pièce de résistance of the meal. I was clearly impressed just looking at the sadness that I had across my face when I wanted to, but couldn’t finish it. (man.. the portion was huge.) The lamb shank was braised long enough till the meat falls off easily off the bone. For detractors of the usual ‘gamey’ taste in their lamb, it is not anywhere near intense.
The desserts were, in truth, rather pedestrian.
Chocolate lava cake with raspberry
The lava cake was definitely a few minutes over-cooked and lacked the gooey molten centre. Taste wise, it was good – mildly sweet, Belgium dark chocolate paired with a tart raspberry reduction.
Clan signature, chocolate fudge
The chocolate fudge is the supposed signature dessert. I can see why.
The same Begium dark chocolate found in the lava cake is used here, resulting in a rich and decadent fudge cake that is not exceedingly sweet and quite simply, great to end the meal with.
Madeira cheese panna cotta
The coffee, however, is in definite need of improvement.
My Parting Words on The Clan
I’ve typed the words, pedestrian, decent, good, a few times in this review but to be honest, those are the words that rightly describe the restaurant. There were no real hard misses during the course of the meal, but there were not many, “WOW” or “That’s interesting” moments either. The lamb shank was good and surprisingly so, but that was only one dish. Oh, and let’s not forget the pork confit – that was good too.
Service wise, because of how the restaurant is separated, I can imagine service to be somewhat lacking when it comes to a packed crowd at both levels of the restaurant.
In all, it’s safe to say that The Clan is a dining venue that aims to satisfy, just not surprise. And at the prices that they charge, it’s a steal. I hear that the menu will be reworked slightly soon and I’m definitely looking forward to revisiting The Clan at some point in time, as I have many times at Dozo.
The Clan Restaurant
No. 18/20 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089832
Open daily from11.30am – 2.30pm for lunch, and 6pm -11pm for dinner
Tel: +65 6222 2084